The Storm After The Storm

Click for much larger image.

While a major Winter storm moves through the U.S., people focus on the large are of snowfall often located in the northern half of the storm.  In this recent storm, heavy snow fell from California to Maine and blizzard conditions were common across the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.  Snowfall totals reached a foot or more in some spots and schools were closed in many locations.

The next storm will result in much of the same with even heavier snowfall totals.  However, it won’t be as widespread and you probably won’t hear as much about it across the various media outlets.

As is often the case with major winter storms, this storm will usher in much colder air for a large part of the country.  Temperatures will fall into the single digits – even below zero – in some spots.  And as this cold air sweeps across the Great Lakes, it will produce heavy lake effect snow showers on the downwind shores.

A myriad of watches and warnings are in place across these areas prone to LES events – the UP of Michigan, the Traverse City and Grand Rapids, MI areas, the zone from Cleveland, OH to Buffalo, NY, and Watertown, NY east into the Adirondacks.  Where the LES bands persist, the snowfall totals could exceed two feet by the time the event ends (likely Friday night for the western lakes and Saturday morning for the eastern lakes).

Now, it may sound like a cop-out to say “where bands persist,” but predicting the exact location is not easy to do.  And you need to be exact.  Over a 20-mile stretch you can experience sunshine and snow squalls.  It’s really quite scary if you’re driving along, say, Interstate 90 between Buffalo and Cleveland.  One moment it’s sunny and ten minutes later…

Click for larger image.

… yikes.  It’s going to be rather dangerous in some Great Lakes areas over the next couple days.  Combine the heavy snow and high winds, and you’re likely to see situations like image above a lot between now and Saturday morning.

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